Fear of Falling
Are you afraid of falling?
You might know already that falls are a leading health hazard for people over 65.
But you might not realize that you need a well-rounded fitness approach to improve balance. It requires a focus on all the components of functional fitness, including mobility, muscular-skeletal, and cardio-respiratory.
“Falling is insidious among older adults and requires a more nuanced approach than training, say, just for strength,” says Christian Thompson, a leading expert in fall prevention and treatment for mature adults.
‘Moving and grooving is complicated’
Christian is a kinesiology professor at the University of San Francisco and owner of a fitness consulting company, Thompson Fitness Solutions. He also recently launched Mobility Matters to help active adults improve function, prevent falls, and move with confidence. He is an author and frequent speaker and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Functional Aging Institute (FAI).
Christian believes exercise is “top of the line, 100 percent necessary” for fall protection and healing.
Lisa Grace Wright, an FAI specialist and owner of Your Personal Best Training Studio in Corpus Christi, Texas, agrees.
“We like to say that moving and grooving is complicated,” Lisa says. “One form of moving only involves one aspect required for fitness that’s going to help people keep from falling.”For instance, you might think it’s enough to practice exercise drills for mobility and agility but neglect the need to increase your speed – which is also essential to improve balance, says Jackie Bachmeier, owner/trainer at Evolution Fitness & Wellness in Houston.
Falling once doubles your chance of falling again, the Centers for Disease Control says. And that can lead to fear, says Sharan Tash, owner of TASH Wellness for Women in Chicago.
“Some people, once they’ve fallen, they let that fear stop them from living their full lives,” Sharan says.
Variety of Exercise Helps Prevent Falls
People over 50 who haven’t had problems with falling still often worry about it. Even active adults can fall, despite their athleticism.
Christian encourages focusing on all aspects of fitness to take care of ourselves, rather than just one – like staying limber, for instance, or jogging regularly.
“You have to be a jack of all trades” to really treat the danger of falling, Christian says.
The upside of this? Your workouts should be designed for variety and fun. So you’re less likely to get bored and frustrated. Variety builds success.
Contact me about your fitness and function goals – and, yes, whatever worries you have about falling or anything else. I’m here to guide you through the right kind of fitness program to keep you safe, fit and strong.
Fear of falling? Don’t let it hold you back.